Iran’s Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on January 8 that he had asked the Iranian government not to import coronavirus vaccines from the United States and the United Kingdom.
In his live television speech, he said: “The import of vaccines from the United States and the United Kingdom is prohibited. I have told government officials this, and now I’m openly speaking.”
Khamenei said Iran is working hard to develop a vaccine while importing vaccines from “trustworthy places”.
Iran is one of the countries with the worst COVID-19 epidemic in the Middle East.
In late December last year, it launched its own clinical trials of a coronavirus vaccine.
Iran’s health ministry spokesman Kiyanush Jahanpur told the Russian satellite news agency that Iran expects to develop its first vaccine this spring.
The Iranian government has previously accused the United States of sanctions making it difficult for Iran to import vaccines.
Iran said on December 24 last year that the United States, under international pressure, agreed to transfer funds from an Iranian bank to foreign banks to buy foreign vaccines.
The United Kingdom, the United States and European Union countries launched a large-scale vaccination of the coronavirus in December last year, using vaccines developed by Pfizer Pharmaceuticals of the United States in cooperation with German biotechnology companies.
The United States also promotes vaccinations developed by Moderna.
The United Kingdom launched another vaccine developed by AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in cooperation with Oxford University on the 4th of this month.
The European Union approved the conditional launch of Moderna’s vaccine in the EU region on the 6th.